Older Blind Services Policy Manual

OBS – Chapter 5

OBS SERVICES

QUALIFICATION OF SERVICE PROVIDERS

RSB will use only professional service providers who meet applicable state licensure or certification requirements.

SERVICES

RSB, in accordance with its State Plan and the Title VII Chapter 2 OBS Grant, will provide the following services, as appropriate, for the needs of each eligible client. Evaluation by RSB staff will determine eligibility for, and the nature and scope of services needed.

  1. Orientation and Mobility Services are provided by RSB staff to enhance the client’s ability to travel independently within their home and/or their community. When appropriate a cane may be provided. Mobility services may be purchased in rare instances when a district office is without an Orientation and Mobility Specialist for an extended period of time and when services needed cannot be met by a Rehabilitation Teacher.
  2. Communication Skills Training includes instructing clients in the use of adaptive time pieces, reading and writing Braille, using writing guides, e-mail, screen enlargement, adaptive telephones, tape recorders, computer access technology, etc.
  3. Daily Living Skills may include evaluation and training in activities of daily living or personal adjustment. Adaptive aids may also be purchased in conjunction with such services. Adaptive equipment may be purchased when it can be used to compensate or accommodate for decreased capacity or loss of an ability to function independently as a result of a visual disability; such as, timers, watches, double spatulas, clocks, etc.
  4. Low Vision Training/Services may include low vision evaluations provided in order to assess the client’s need for low vision aids. Such an evaluation may be purchased only when a Rehabilitation Teacher is unable to determine the type of low vision aid needed by the client.
  5. Advocacy Services includes training the client in self-advocacy skills.
  6. Management of Secondary Disabilities may include diabetic evaluation and education, diabetic aids and equipment, and assistive listening devices for clients who have a hearing loss.
  7. Counseling and Guidance Services are provided by the rehabilitation teacher and may include personal adjustment counseling, peer support, and mentoring. In addition, family counseling may be provided when it is deemed necessary for improvement of the client’s ability to live independently.
  8. Interpreter Services for the deaf and deaf-blind may be purchased by RSB in instances when no other means of communication with the client is available. RSB may also assist in coordinating volunteers to provide sighted guide, interpreter and reader services for clients.
  9. Referral for Vocational Rehabilitation Services means that the RT may make a referral to the VR program when appropriate.
  10. Referral to Other Agencies by RSB staff may be provided to assist the client in securing services from other agencies to enhance the ability of the client to live and function independently.
  11. Support Group Services may be provided to encourage the involvement of clients in interacting with others who have similar disabilities for the purpose of enhancing social skills and promoting emotional support.
  12. Community Integration Services may be provided to assist in locating/accessing community activities and services. Staff may encourage the client to engage in activities which improve self-image and self-worth through volunteering.
  13. Recreational Items may include the provision of playing cards and other large print or Braille games, etc.
  14. Transportation Services may include travel for the purpose of participating in OBS services, such as participation in training sessions, support groups, obtaining a low vision evaluation and visits to the appropriate district office to meet with an RSB staff member.
  15. Visual Restoration Services may include surgery and treatment for eye conditions and the purchase of regular prescription eye glasses for which no other resource exists or such resource has been exhausted.

SERVICE AND EXPENDITURE LIMITS

Visual Restoration and Management of Secondary Disabilities:

  1. Both visual restoration and management of secondary disabilities are limited to $2500. Exceptions to the $2500 limit may be approved by the district supervisor after consultation with the OBS Program Manager.
  2. Adaptive aids and equipment that are purchased with OBS funds must be those that deal primarily with a visual disability and secondary disabilities that have an impact on the client’s visual functioning. OBS should purchase the necessary aids and equipment to allow non-visual use of household devices, not the household devices themselves.
  3. Purchase of equipment such as diabetic aids, blood pressure monitor, food scales, weight scales and hearing aids may be considered only upon the written/verbal recommendation of a health care professional. Documentation of the statement from the health care professional must be placed in the case record

Cost of Electronic Visual Aids:

Maximum expenditure for a single electronic visual aid is $400.

Cost of Low Vision Aids:

Maximum expenditure for a single low vision aid is $400.

Purchase of Hearing Aids:

A rehabilitation teacher may purchase hearing aids when no similar benefit exists. If a client has a hearing impairment and no similar benefits are available, less expensive devices such as the A200 or the One-to-One Communicator shall be considered first.

Purchase of Duplicate Equipment:

  1. Duplicate devices shall not be purchased at any time unless the level of the disability has changed, such as further vision loss.
  2. If a client’s case is reopened, an adaptive aid that had been purchased in an available previous case shall not be purchased in the newly opened case unless the staff member can clearly document the need as a result of a change in the client’s disability.

Purchase of Transportation Services:

Transportation services will be provided by the most economical source of transportation that meets the client’s needs. Transportation costs will be limited to the cost of mileage traveled by private automobile according to travel regulations for employees of the State of Missouri. Bus, train and cab fare are reimbursed at actual charges.

Purchase of Recreational Items:

Purchase of recreational items will be limited to no more than two games per client and the need for this service must be documented in the case record.

Case Length Limit

OBS cases cannot be open for more than 18 months without documented approval of the district supervisor.